Heart Reflections Live

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I turned 40 this week! On the 16th December to be precise. I spent a lot of time pondering the milestone as it approached over the last few weeks, and the significance of the event.

I was also very blessed this week to touch base with my friend, Heidi, and some of her family, who I've known since kindergarten, and we've kept touch over the years. It's incredible to realize in this transient world that we've been friends for 36 years, despite me being a homebody and she a world traveller. We all caught up together on the 12th- her 40th- so it was lovely to share such a major milestone together... I celebrated last Sunday after church with my extended family, sharing a birthday celebration with my eldest daughter, who was 6 (Is she 6 already?) on the 11th December. My Mum bought a huge passionfruit sponge cake iced in white chocolate icing- Mmmmmm!!!!

I don't "feel" 40... Maybe being a wife and Mama to a relatively young family keeps me young at heart. And while it "sounds" old, I'm reminded that my maternal grandmother looked stunning at 40 and had her 4th child soon after.

I'm also reminded that one of my favourite actresses, Greer Garson (Yes, I'm into old movies!) made her best known films in her 40's including Goodbye, Mr Chips, Random Harvest, and Mrs Miniver where she was the epitomy not only of style, but noble womanhood.

In the Bible 40 has also had a special significance, it denotes testing, a training period, and preparation. During Noah's flood it rained for 40 days and 40 nights. The Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. Moses was in the deserts of Midian for 40 years, and also spent 40 days on the mountain with the Lord. Jesus was tempted by Satan for 40 days in the wilderness.

In the Bible, 40 years also represents a generation. There was a 40 year span between Christ's crucifixion and the destruction of Jerusalem. So in my life, I see 40 as very significant. I hope to age gracefully, as my husband and I raise our children in the fear and admonition of the Lord.

For us, as women, the Bible is clear on our roles:
1 TIM 2:9-15 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls or costly array;
But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
For Adam was first formed , then Eve.
And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
1 TIM 3:11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.

1 TIM 5:9-10, 14 Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man,
Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saint's feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.
I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.

And of course the mentoring role of a Titus 2 woman:
TITUS 2 :3-5 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

I feel I've reached a personal Renaissance in my own life, as the Lord continues to mold me into His Image. I see a time ahead of renewed learning, as I homeschool our 6 year old in the coming year, and a time of greater creativity, as I begin to dust off my very dormant sewing skills to make things for our family. There are so many books to read, hymns to learn, people to touch as the Lord brings them across my path. I pray that I'll be able to continue to live life to the full, living each day to the glory of God, serving Christ the King.
Here is a photo of Heidi and I in front of our Christmas tree, taken on her birthday, when our families caught up together. (I'm the brunette in the headband!)

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posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 10:17 pm 6 comments

A Week of Secondhand Bargains!

We've had a great week with regard to secondhand thrift shopping. My husband started it all by going to a community garage sale, where he got some fantastic children's vintage books in really good condition, a vintage weet-bix tin for me, and some baking tins and a vegie cutter that looked like they were probably from the 1970's. Old is something we value in our home. They sure don't make things like they used to.

The following Thursday we spent most of a day op-shopping in our nearest large town. We scoured 5 different shops, finding some dress shirts and other stuff for hubby, a gorgeous designer label dress and matching hat for our older daughter, a rainbow cardigan for Miss 3 and yours truly scored a near new pair of black mocassins, 3 long skirts (I love long skirts) and some more vintage books. I'll try to do a post soon with a photo of some of the children's books we've found lately.

It was a very productive day, and instead of supporting the multi-nationals, it was nice to know that the Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul, children overseas with cleft palates,Global Care and the Baptist Church all benefitted as well.

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posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 2:36 pm 1 comments

Christmas Lessons

Christmas should teach us to be Christ to others all about us, that from our very garments may flow the virtue that shall heal and bless all who touch us. There are few people whom God calls to do great things for Him, but the best thing most of us can do in this world is to live out a real, simple, beautiful, strong Christian life in our allotted place. Thus in our little measure we shall repeat the life of the Master himself, showing men some feeble reflection of his sweet and loving face, and doing in our imperfect way a few of the lovely things he would do if he were here himself in our place.

-by J.R. Miller D.D.

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posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 1:08 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas Family Traditions

What are your Christmas family traditions? How do you keep Christmas Christ-centred in your home?

Many of the community events we take our children to every year are totally free, and yet they help encompass what we feel a Christ- centred Christmas is all about.

On the Sunshine Coast, we always take our children to visit the living nativity display at the Bokarina Uniting Church. They vary the sets every year and do a truly excellent job. It's a way of taking our children back to the first Christmas, and then, once you have gone through the Church, you can join in the carol singing in the tent at the back, or take a family stroll around the nearby streets to see the Christmas light displays.

We also usually visit the Maroochy Baptist Church for a similar event. As well as re-enacting the first Christmas, they have a free musical, baby animal farm, cotton candy for the children and a church light display. We usually end up bumping into someone we know, so it often turns into a great night of Christian fellowship.

We also usually go to one of the community Carols by Candlelight events and target 2 or 3 different areas to drive through on different nights to enjoy the Christmas lights with our children. I tend to try to avoid the shops as much as possible this time of year, but will usually visit one of the major shopping centres at least once with the family to see the store window displays.

On the home front, we make much of the decorations we have, and enjoy singing along with our favourite carols. Being book lovers, we enjoy reading aloud from our collection of Christmas books, our favourites being, "The candle in the Window", "Red Boots for Christmas", "Christian Mother Goose, Rock-a Bye Christmas", and the accounts of the birth of Christ from Matthew and Luke in our King James Bible.

None of these activities cost anything but a little time and fuel, and are much anticipated events for our family. Our little one's get more excited by stories of angels and shepherds than of tales about the big guy in the red suit. After all, remembering that Christ has come, and will come again is the escence for us of what Christmas is all about.

What are some of your yearly Christmas traditions?

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posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 8:30 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Wiped Out

Sorry for the lack of fresh blog articles this last couple of weeks, we've been caught up on the sickness bandwagon, thanks to a nasty flu bug that had been circulating our daughter's school community for a while.

Our eldest daughter fell sick and feverish first. Three days later, she was basically over it, but Yours Truly picked it up and it thought it might stay a while. And it truly wiped me out. I fell ill on Tuesday, felt slightly better Friday morning, so I decided to cancell plans to go to the Doctor: Very Bad Decision. In the meantime, Zara caught it too, so I was trying to look after her as well. Thankfully children are very resilient, and after a few doses of Panadol( which we rarely use) Zara's fever had gone.

Anyway Friday night, I went downhill again, very listless, feverish and the following evening, hubby took me straight to the hospital (along with our elder daughter, who caught a touch of it again off me!). They put me on a drip and after finding my blood pressure was only 95 over 45, ordered another. Then I caused a commotion by nearly fainting on the way to the toilet!

Hubby had already taken both our children to stay at my Mum and Dad's for the night, and we both finally joined them at nearly 2 in the morning. They all went to Church, next morning leaving me at my parent's place to recuperate till they joined me after lunch.

It had been a long time since I'd missed a Lord's day at church, so that felt a bit weird, but I was so grateful for the rest and prayers from family and friends. I'm on the mend now, back getting our home in order again, and really looking forward to the Christmas season.


posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 12:16 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

God Answers Prayer

I know not by what methods rare,
But this I know- God answers prayer.
I know not when He sends the word
That tells us fervent prayer is heard.
I know it cometh- soon or late:
Therefore we need to pray and wait.
I know not if the blessing sought
Will come in just the way I thought.
I leave my prayers with Him alone.
Whose will is wiser than my own.
Lord let me capture the pure spirit of a loving child when I speak your name. Let me pray as a child prays, asking little for myself, much for other souls and for Your beautiful world. Protect me, sleeping and waking, from evil.
Lead me by the hand to good works. Let me praise You in simple words and in glorious silence through all the days and the nights of my life.
-Author Anonymous

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posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 8:08 pm 0 comments

Monday, December 03, 2007

Talitha's Unplanned Musical Debut!!

I haven't got a photo to show you for this one, as it caught us all by surprise, but here's what happened Saturday night...

We went to a fund-raising concert in our local town hall to raise money for the hall which we hire for our Sunday church services. It was an Australian themed night with bush poets, school and town choirs, comedy singers, bands and a Dad n Dave Comedy play. Intermission was coming to an end, and I was finishing off from helping serve desserts in the kitchen, when I heard the M.C. announce something, and then I heard my eldest daughter's voice clear and confident in the microphone singing the hymn "Holy, Holy, Holy"! I rushed round the corner to see her finish her shortened version to an enthusiastic audience.

I was so proud of her, but also humbled when she shared how it all came about. The M.C. came up to her asked her name, and if she'd like to sing a song. She said yes of course. I asked later why she had picked "Holy, Holy, Holy", and she said that she was looking and listening to all the people standing and talking outside during intermission and she said that none of them seemed to know Jesus and they were all talking about bad stuff and she felt she needed to sing "Holy, Holy, Holy".

Oh, how I pray she'll always desire to be salt and light in this fallen world. People came up to us afterward and were really touched by her performance. Standing up for righteousness and Holiness in a world that is neither, takes courage and guts. Saturday night she showed us that with the Holy Spirit's help, she can have both.

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posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 8:54 pm 1 comments